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Special Issue of AAAJ on Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Accounting, Auditing and Accountability

1st Call for Papers
Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Guest Editors: Amanda Ball, Markus J. Milne and Suzana Grubnic[1]
Special Issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 2011
Climate change now occupies centre-stage politically in many countries (Gore, 2006; Stern, 2006; IPCC, 2007). The scientific consensus is that climate warming is “very likely” due to the excessive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of industrial activity (IPCC, 2007; Oreskes, 2004). International policy goals to avert run away climate change include suggested targets for stabilising atmospheric GHG concentration with emission cuts of 80-90% by 2050 (IPCC, 2007; Stern, 2008). Most countries are committed to modest reductions in GHG emissions under the Kyoto protocol. In tandem with a major international policy focus on carbon pricing and trading (Stern, 2008), predominant climate change strategies for governments, businesses and individuals across industrialised societies include carbon-neutrality, energy and energy conservation strategies, and emissions trading schemes. An international voluntary carbon offset market has burgeoned (EM/NCF, 2008) in response to businesses and individuals purchasing carbon credits to go carbon-neutral (Bumpus & Liverman, 2008). Accounting, technical and ethical critiques, however, are appearing about the efficacy of these practices (e.g., Lohmann, 2005; Smith, 2007); emerging codes of conduct and voluntary standards are creating potential confusion (Lovell et al., 2008); and scaling up offsetting to the levels required is questioned (e.g., Smith & Rodger, 2007).
Despite burgeoning practice, there is a dearth of academic debate about organisational climate change strategies, and particularly in regard to organisational motives, commitments, actions and accountabilities, and the role carbon accounting and auditing plays in these. There is a complete absence of ‘carbon accounting’ studies in the social and environmental accounting literature (Gray et al., 2007). To date, there are a small number of relevant studies in the organisations literature, with early research noting active political resistance and climate change denial (e.g., Levy and Egan, 2003; Livesey, 2002). Businesses are now engaging in various programmes, with measures, targets and market trading (e.g., Begg et al., 2005; Kolk & Pinkse, 2004, 2005; Hoffman, 2006), spawning business interest in strategy, opportunities and “how-to” guides (e.g., HBR special issue, 2007; Hoffman, 2006). So far, however, little work has attempted to understand the actual dynamics of organisational emissions reduction programmes, key motives that drive or inhibit action (Okereke, 2007), or critically scrutinize obvious tensions and paradoxical motives between organisational desires to reduce ecological impacts and desires to grow and succeed economically. Despite the growing tide of corporate activity on climate change no meaningful progress is being made on global GHG emissions reduction, suggesting relatively weak policy regimes and ‘business-as-usual’ (Jones & Levy, 2007). This special issue seeks a range of papers from a variety of social science disciplines that address these shortcomings.
Special Issue Paper Submission Deadline - 31 Dec 2009
Submissions to Professor Amanda Ball, [email protected] or Professor Markus J. Milne, [email protected] University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Papers available earlier are invited for presentation at a GHG measurement, management and sense-making stream of the 8th Australasian CSEAR Conference 2009, December 6-8.  University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. See:
Begg, K.G., van der Woerd, F., & Levy, D., 2005. The Business of Climate Change.Greenleaf, Sheffield, UK.
Bumpus, A.G. & Liverman, D., 2008. Accumulation by decarbonisation and the governance of carbon offsetsEconomic Geography. In press
EM/NCF, 2008. Forging a Frontier: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2008, Ecosystem Markets/New Carbon Finance,
Gore, A., 2006. An inconvenient truth: the planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it.  Rodale Press, Bloomsbury, London, UK.
Gray, R. Dillard, J., & Spence, C. 2007. Accounting as if the World Matters: Postalgia and a new absurdism. 5th APIRA Conference,
HBR Special Issue, 2007. Climate Business: Business Climate, Harvard Business Review, October.
Hoffman, A.J., 2006. Getting Ahead of the Curve: Corporate Strategies that Address Climate Change. Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
IPCC., 2007. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, Switzerland.
Jones, C.A., & Levy, D. 2007. North American Business Strategies Towards Climate Change, European Management Journal, 25(6): 428-440.
Kolk, A. & Pinkse, J. 2005. Business Responses to Climate Change: Identifying Emergent Strategies, California Management Review, 47(3): 6-20.
Kolk, A., & Pinkse, J. 2004. Market Strategies for Climate Change, European Management Journal, 22(3): 304-314.
Levy, D. & Egan, D., 2003. A Neo-Gramscian Approach to Corporate Political Strategy: Conflict and Accommodation in the Climate Change Negotiations. Journal of Management Studies 40(4): 803-830.
Livesey, S. 2002. Global Warming Wars: Rhetorical and Discourse Analytic Approaches to ExxonMobil’s Corporate Public Discourse. The Journal of Business Communication, 39(1): 117-148.
Lohmann, L., 2005. Marketing and Making Carbon Dumps: Commodification, Calculation and Counterfactuals in Climate Change Mitigation. Science as Culture, 14(3): 203-235.
Lovell H., Bulkeley H. and Liverman D. M.  (2008, forthcoming). Carbon offsetting: Sustaining Consumption? Environment and Planning A (Special issue on the carbon economy)
Okereke, C., 2007. An Exploration of Motivations, Drivers and Barriers to Carbon Management: The UK FTSE 100, European Management Journal, 25(6): 475-486.
Oreskes, N., 2004. The scientific consensus on climate change. Science 306 (5702), 1686.
Smith, I. & Rodger, C., 2007. Carbon Emission Offsets for International Transport to and From New Zealand, Paper presented at Conference of the National Energy Research Institute, Auckland, New Zealand..
Smith, K., 2007. The Carbon Neutral Myth: Offset Indulgences for your Climate Sins. Carbon Trade Watch. Available at: (accessed: January, 2008).
Stern, N., 2006. The Economics of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Stern, N., 2008. Key elements of a global deal on climate change. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[1]Amanda Ball & Markus J. Milne, College of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Dr. Suzana Grubnic, Nottingham University Business School, UK.